Latin name - Buteo buteo
The Buzzard has, after a decline in numbers following persecution by man and the loss of much of their main food source, rabbits, due to myxomatosis; become a common sight throughout Devon and Cornwall. In fact, according to the RSPB, it is now the commonest and most widespread UK bird of prey. They can be seen in most habitats; woodland, moorland, scrub, pasture, coastal cliffs and even in urban areas (they are a common sight flying over our own urban garden). A big bird with dark brown upper-parts, paler under-parts, a short neck, broad wings and a short rounded tail. The female is slightly larger than the male growing up to 57 cm long and weighing up to 1300 gm (3 lb). Young birds tend to have lighter under-parts. They hunt either by soaring over open ground or by perching on tree branches, telegraph poles or similar locations from where they can keep a sharp lookout for prey. Rabbits are an important part of their diet but they also hunt voles, birds, reptiles and amphibians. They will also feed on carrion.